Warning: Major spleen vent on deck. Indulge the rantings of a depressed American, or skip this post.
Keep thinking I need — or want — to get everything off my chest at once re: Bush’s 2nd term, to somehow convey all the multiple levels and layers of my incomprehension at the result. But every time I start, the thoughts tumble too quickly to be corralled, and I just don’t have an essay in me tonight.
Seriously, America — How much harm would Bush have to do to our nation for you to evict him from office? Would he have to personally come to your house, open up your septic tank with a Bradley and dump half a ton of uranium into your swimming pool? Would he have to steal directly from your bank account, rather than from your children’s? Condemn your kids to be educated in public schools in the projects? Wiretap every room in your house? Become convinced that you were hiding a secret cache of dangerous weapons, destroy your home over it, then not apologize or even admit wrongdoing (and tell you he’d do the same thing all over again)? Let a bunch of frat boys high on hatred attach electrodes to your father’s testicles? Would he have to assemble an inner cabinet of serial killers, rather than mere criminals? Would he have to corrupt every branch of government (and your city council too) with high-finance cronies? Would he have to drive unemployment to 70%? Eliminate Medicare? Undo the New Deal altogether? Just how many debates would he have to lose before you became convinced he wasn’t the right man for the job? Would he have to amend the Constitution to specify that marriage is only allowed between members of the same sex? Only allowed between armadillos and umbrellas? Would he have to ignore every piece of advice given to him by experts, rather than just most? How absurd does it have to get? How many countries would have to hate us over his policies? How much international good will would he have to squander? Would the U.N. have to kick us out altogether? Would Canada and Europe have to embargo the U.S. before you understood how low our standing is in the world today? What would it take, America? You seem to like being punished by your leaders — just how badly do you want more of this humiliation? Apparently, quite a lot.
Yeah, it’s all radical hyperbole, but seriously. I usually try to maintain some sense of patriotism, even though our administration shames us daily. But an election result like this makes it so much harder to be patriotic. I want to be proud to be an American. I find myself having to look deeper and harder to find things to be proud of. We’re in a bad way.
And then we hear that “moral values” was the highest criteria among voters when making their choice. Moral values? In what universe could Bush be considered a “moral” leader? How can you consider our president, who is opposed to gay marriage, who values American lives higher than Iraqi lives, who steals from the future to give to the rich, etc. to have high moral values? And where exactly are the moral blemishes on Kerry’s record?
Look on the bright side. Air America is just getting good, and a 2nd term guarantees they won’t be running out of material anytime soon. Same for Jon Stewart. More importantly, a 2nd term will allow plenty of time for the full effects of this administration’s policies to take hold. We’ll see whether people are still committed to self-destruction in 2008.
Some inspiring/inspired notes in Boing-Boing’s Kerry Concedes post.